Leaders know that you must spend time with your people. However, the best leaders know you have to spend time with all of your people. I am fully aware that this is easier said than done.
Your job as a leader is to do those things that only you can do. This is one of those things and you have to make time for it.
When you start a business, it’s easy to stay in touch with your workforce. As your business grows, it gets harder and harder to stay connected to your people. Here are some ideas to help you do just that.
Accessibility to top management
I can think of no better way for an employee to feel valued than to consistently give him or her access to top management.
My advice, block out two hours on your calendar and put out a memo to the workforce that you’ll be available for phone calls to discuss any questions or concerns they may have. Do this monthly. It really is not a time sucker for you at all.
Think about it, you commit to sitting at your desk for two hours per month. If the phone rings, great, it’s a valuable employee and they need to talk to you. If it doesn’t ring, you sit there quietly doing your work.
What exactly is it about human beings that we think we can fix everyone? We can’t. It’s a terrible waste of a leader’s valuable time. Throughout my career, the 80/20 Rule has continued to prove true. The most familiar example to us is “20 percent of your people will cause 80 percent of your problems.”
Here’s my question: Why are you spending 80 percent of your time with the 20 percent? While you are busy trying to fix them, you’re also neglecting your 80 percent (top performers). Continue to invest in those invested in your company and you will be rewarded with loyal employees for years to come.
Harvey Mackay, author and founder of the Mackay Envelope Corporation, believes there are 66 items we should know about each and every customer. These 66 items help to cement your relationship with the customer and keep them for years to come.
My recommendation is use the Mackay 66 to get to know your employees. You can ask them a few questions at a time. Your genuine interest shows that you truly care. Ask them questions; let them talk about themselves. Engaging in these types of social conversations also shows your human side to your team.
One of my favorite quotes is, “People leave people; not companies.” If you want them to stay, invest in them. In this day and age, it seems we spend way more time at work than at home. Investing in those work relationships seems to make sense, doesn’t it?
If you invest the time, the result will be a mutually beneficial relationship for all parties involved.
Dennis W. Lejeck is the president and founder of Black Knight Security. Dennis is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence and has also participated in the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year® program. BKS was recognized in 2015 and 2016 as one of the 100 Fastest Growing Companies in Pittsburgh.